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The University of Southampton

EDUC3027 Dissertation

Module Overview

This module provides you with a structure and some key milestones in the preparation and development and implementation of a selected research project. Your small-scale project can take different forms and be situated in a range of contexts. For example, a qualitative exploration, a quantitative examination or some form of investigation and analysis of an appropriate topic. You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will guide your independent research design, data collection and write up, according to accepted academic standards.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Create a framework for you to undertake a well-developed small-scale research project in an area of study related to your degree programme; - Further develop your independence, learning and research strategy; - Enable you to apply, in an integrated and enhanced manner, knowledge, research-skills, analytical-skills, evaluative-skills and communication-skills, gained in Parts 1 and 2, and those encountered during progression through Part 3.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate analysis, evaluation, synthesis and criticality on a focussed topic within education.
  • Design, formulate research questions within education and produce, within the scope of an undergraduate programme, a substantial, independent project.
  • Apply knowledge and further develop your skills in quantitative and/or qualitative research.
  • Conduct research and process data for analysis and synthesise information effectively, taking due account of ethics and research governance.
  • Construct clear, detailed and logical line of reasoning.
  • Present and articulate findings in a coherent, well-structured and sustained manner.
  • Produce and present a substantial, independent piece of work within an allocated time and word limit.


The individual nature of the projects identified and selected by the students under the guidance of the supervisor, makes it inappropriate to prescribe a detailed syllabus. There are however some key milestones identified regarding: - Ethics and research governance; - Writing up a research project; and - Time management. These are covered in taught sessions and through the guidance of the supervisor. Importantly the content of the selected project must relate to some aspect of Education as a discipline.

Special Features

Before any data collection can take place Faculty Ethics approval must be achieved. It is likely that a risk assessment will be required. In some instances, a ‘travel abroad’ risk assessment must be completed.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Front loaded taught sessions will focus on developing and understanding the requirements of achieving ethical and research governance approval for your proposed research project. These sessions will form the key initial tutorial with your allocated dissertation supervisor. A further taught session follows to address the process of writing up your research. You have the opportunity to seek advice and guidance from your allocated dissertation supervisor, normally to a maximum of seven tutorials. - Lectures/Workshops - Tutorials

Independent Study287
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Bowell, T. (2010). Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide. 

Doing your research project: A guide for first time researchers in education, health and social sciences. 

Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2013). Critical Thinking: Pearson New International Edition - Electronic Resource. 

Your dissertation in education. 

The Student’s Guide to Research Ethics. 

How to do your research project: a guide for students in education and applied social sciences.. 

No Sweat! The Indispensable Guide to Reports and Dissertations, The Institute of Management Foundation. 

Bell, J. and Waters, S. (2014). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide For First-Time Researchers (Electronic Resource). 

Bowell, T. (2009). Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide - Electronic Resource. 

Other. Inter Library Loans Requests for research papers or books, which are not held in any of the University Libraries, are made through the 'Inter Library Loan' system. Please be aware that, depending on the nature of the source, access through the Inter Library Loan system can take several weeks.



MethodPercentage contribution
Research project  (8000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Research project 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


You will be responsible for any travel and data collection costs. Depending on the nature of your study you may need to obtain or re-new your Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) check. For up to date information about DBS costs see: Please contact the FSHMS student office ( as soon as possible for an application form and further details.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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